Recovering Data Off a Broken Screen Moto X First Gen

So I am a holdout with a Moto X first gen and have ran into a rather big problem. I shattered the screen on the phone tonight and cannot access it anymore. It still works and powers on, but I have absolutely no way of accessing the phone in its current state. The poorly designed way you have to physically unmount the phone via an option on the phone itself will not allow me to access it via my computer.

Basically I’d like to know if there is anyone at all who has any straightforward advice or workarounds that will allow me to recover my data to port over to a new device. Rather desperate at this point, and extremely annoyed with the way this phone is designed. Is it possible to access the SD card? The phone is wrecked, so I have no qualms about digging the battery out if that is all it takes.

Again, I appreciate any advice anyone might have. Thanks.


You say it still works and powers on. Does this mean you can see the display, but it does not respond to touch?

The screen is has cracks all over it, and all I can see is random colors on about 1/3 of the display. But the notification icon still blinks, and it responds to pressing the power button. I just cannot access anything on the phone itself because the screen is completely ruined. Again, other than that, it seems to be working “fine”.

Ok… Do you have a USB mouse? If so, I’d like to send you a USB OTG adapter. You can use it to connect the mouse to the phone, and use the mouse instead of tapping the screen.
Like this:

Perhaps that way you can navigate the phone well enough to back up and move your content. I’ll DM you to confirm your address.


Don’t understand.

There is no SD card buried in the phone.

Have you tried using USB data cable and access via your computer?

Thank you for the response and for your help, I really do appreciate it. While this looks like an interesting way to get into the phone, I literally cannot see anything on the screen because it is shattered so badly. The screen turns on, but I only see some discolorations on about 1/3 of the shattered screen and that is it. The only way I could see this working is literally shooting in the dark and trying to get to the menu where you identify it as a connected media device.

I’ve read some people suggest hooking the phone up to a TV via an HDMI-like cord, but that the Moto X first gen doesn’t support that kind of capability.

Here is a link to a workaround that will allow you to view your screen on your computer:

You will have to pick up a piece of hardware, but it’s not very expensive.

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[quote=“ivan459, post:6, topic:10460”]
The only way I could see this working is literally shooting in the dark and trying to get to the menu where you identify it as a connected media device.
[/quote]No need to do anything to connect X1 as a media device except data cable and no need to see the screen. If it powers up and is unlocked should be able to see & do what you need on a computer.

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Sadly, I think the Note: Dialogue may thwart many users.

Note: Many of these solutions require you to have an app already installed or debugging turned on prior to the screen not working…“you might not have success with some or all of these solutions”.

True. But, potentially worth a try (I’ve been tempted to pick up the hardware to see under what conditions I can get it to work without touching the phone…).

A repair shop may already have a similar setup, too, and could check to see if the phone content could be accessed.

Of course, anything synced with your Gmail/Google account (contacts, email messages) will sync back to the new phone once you add the account:


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As written sounds like ivan459’s phone is unlocked and USB hasn’t even been tried yet.

I was simply giving another option.

Some things can be transferred via a USB data cable (e…g, photos), but some cannot (e.g., text messages).

An interesting approach. Sadly, I don’t believe any Moto series phone has the required MHL support: :cry:

Bummer! :angry:

Looks like it could be worth trying with a Samsung phone, anyway.

If something is really important, and it can’t be recovered via a data cable, I guess a screen replacement would be the only option for the Motorola phones. :frowning2:

I find this odd myself. It seems to me, this is such a frequent issue with electronic devices, it would be a no-brainer, yet, it is a regular issue.

Recover Data, from a dead-screened-phone. Sounds impossible.

Yes, this is what I had read as well.

Thank you all again for the comments, definitely appreciate it. It appears my only option is to get the screen fixed. An expensive lesson I’ll have to learn to back things up on the phone…

Thanks again everyone.

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When you get it fixed, I would recommend investing in a decently rated glass screen protector. Then, when you drop your phone face down, it will crack the protector and not the actual digitizer. Much less expensive than a screen replacement!

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